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Opera Highlights 2014 Press Reviews

 

‘A tiny theatre can terrorise singers, but it rewards the audience by letting you hear each distinct element in a harmony in a way that the mash of a big hall prohibits. The duets, trios and quartets in this selection were sublime, as were may of the solo spots, and Claire Haslin’s sprightly piano provided all the orchestration required. This is, quite simply, a little gem of a show.’
Scottish Daily Express *****

 

‘There’s every style you could think of, including Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Massenet, Bizet to Britten, and also such obscure names as Giacomo Orefice (whose opera Chopin features) and Richard Heuberger. The trick, of course, is to piece this musical miscellany smoothly and dynamically together, achieved here with complete lack of fuss and pretension. Full marks to the young singers – soprano Sarah Power and baritone Andrew McTaggart (both Scottish Opera Emerging Artists), alongside mezzo Máire Flavin and tenor Paul Curievici – who gel like a team who’ve been together all their lives, thanks to Lissa Lorenzo’s minimalist, quickfire stage direction and Claire Haslin’s super-efficient musical direction from the piano.’
The Scotsman ****

 

‘with familiar arias like Rigoletto’s' La donna e mobile', the chaps’ duet from Bizet’s Pearl Fishers and arias from Rinaldo and Manon for the girls, sitting comfortably alongside a comic gem by Jonathan Dove from The Enchaned Pig and a concluding quartet from Weill’s Lady In The Dark that was just one of the many beautifully balanced ensembles.’
The Herald ****
 

‘Scottish Opera has a commendable history of packing up a van in Glasgow and taking it round the far corners of Scotland to the delight of local communities…The difference these days is in the appointment of Emerging Artists, so baritone Andrew McTaggart, soprano Sarah Power and director Lissa Lorenzo were all given an opportunity to further develop their already considerable skills. Joined by Irish mezzo-soprano Máire Flavin, tenor Paul Curievici and accompanied by Ruth Wilkinson on the piano, we were taken on a whirlwind operatic tour of love’s many different sides… The thrill of hearing even one large operatic voice up close is exciting, and here four evenly matched voices produced a tremendous sound in the hall…The unexpected highlight of the evening was a very new piece from Scottish Opera’s composer in residence, Gareth Williams…'Until the Glass Shatters' was a devastating, beautiful and haunting piece written for this tour for a trio of singers…

Should an opera company spend its budget on mainstage productions, or should it be smaller scale fare like this? While big productions undoubtedly catch the international limelight, there is no denying the impact of Scottish Opera arriving in a tiny community, miles from the bigger theatres, and putting on such a professional show.’

Bachtrack.com ****